“This Is Not a Utopia”—Collection of Russian Electronic Literature

Event type: 
06.08.2015 to 26.08.2015
Stiftelsen 3,14
Vågsallmenningen 12
5014 Bergen
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“This Is Not a Utopia” is a collection of Russian electronic literary work from early 2000s through 2015. The show is based on the Russian Electronic Literature research collection in the ELMCIP Knowledge Base (http://elmcip.net/research-collection/russian-electronic-literature-coll...) prepared in 2013 by Natalia Fedorova. The collection problematized a number of gaps in the development of Russian e-lit and the exhibit shows also the work that has been created since the gap was acknowledged.
Utopia is a society constrained with an aim of achieving collective happiness. The antiutopia of the post-soviet space alongside with many of the disillusionments was marked by the introduction of Internet and personal computing in the mid-90s. Teneta literary contest made the first “cyberature” works visible and Alexroma was one of the active participants of the cyberature community, represented by his work Falling Angels. Net art such as asciiticism by Ivan Khimin, inspired by Alexey Shulgin’s work, a legendary net artist of the 90s, was also important in Russian digital art. In the 2000s videopoetry captured the imagination of the poets in search of new tools of expression and remediation and Snow Queen by Machine Libertine add their recognizable AI touch to this tendency. Using different tools, Polarities by Elena Demidova remediates classical Russian Silver Age poetry to reveal atomic particles of a poetic language.
Experimental literature has a century-old tradition of futurist publishing and performance activity, which shifted to the underground in the Soviet era, and merged back on the surface in the 90s with the collapse of all the social realism constraints. Characters of the St. Petersburg underground scene of the late 80s are revived in Kuryokhin: Second Life, an interactive fiction debut by Michael Kurtov. 1/2/3 by Anna Tolkacheva, where the title is borrowed from Vsevolod Nekrasov, adds his minimalist lines of poetry to the Mozhaisky region of Moscow’s walls and fences.
The new impetus to electronic poetry was given by the Laboratory of Mediapoetry established by Elena Demidova in 2013 in Moscow and followed by Mediapoetry Machines art residency held in Skolkovo gallery lab in 2015. The exhibit features three of the works by Anna Tolkacheva, Elena Demidova and Irina Ivannikova that resulted from this project.

(source: ELO 2015 catalog)


Decentering: Global Electronic Literature. This is not a utopia

Record posted by: 
Hannah Ackermans
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